Affective Pathways of Communication in Cancer Care: Experiences from Palestinian Caregivers

  • Samar Issa AlbarghouthiEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


This chapter discusses the unique role entering the dialogical landscape of the mind I-as-a-caregiver. How do caregivers make sense of their experiences in caring for their beloved ones with cancer? How do caregivers use affective pathways of communication within the interplay of sociocultural complexity? To achieve this, a total of 17 in-depth semi-structured individual interviews were conducted using grounded theory with primary caregivers of cancer patients from the West Bank in Palestine. The dialogical self theory was used as a theoretical framework.

Findings revealed two main themes. The first theme discusses the interplay between sociocultural context and caregiving with sub-themes covering caregiving as a cultural virtue, reciprocity in family caregiving, and a caring religion. The second theme explains effective pathways of communication with three sub-themes: social representations of cancer, dilemma of disclosure, and reciprocal suffering.

Findings revealed that, despite the unique position of the I-as-a-caregiver entering the landscape of the mind, the caregiver self seems to encounter unresolved continuous ethical dilemmas, leading to a state of ambivalence in emotions, maladaptive caring behaviors, and conflictual interests. Hence, research emphasizes the need to co-create a healthier dialogical space based on mutual beneficial agreement between caregivers, care recipients, and health practitioners through balancing power dynamics and hierarchal relations to strengthen cooperation within the divergent unfulfilled I-positions processing inner and external conflicts.


Affective pathways of communication Caregivers Caregiving Dialogical self theory Palestinian cancer care Sociocultural complexity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Psychology-NTNU Norwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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